Monday, December 30, 2013

Cuscooooo, He(she)´s the King(Queen) of the World! Cuscoooooo

Week 29

December 30, 2013

Hey Guys!
I hope your Christmas was the best! My Christmas was definitely unlike any other Christmas I've had before. The Christmas miracle was definitely to be able to (after hours of tracking down cameras and finding an internet cafe with skype) talk with and see my family on Skype! The best.
Remember our investigator Marilin? She studied for a while to be a monk, but then left that. Her husband is studying to be a catholic priest. Well we kind of dropped her for awhile because she wasn't progressing. But we recently stopped by and just invited her to a family night. To my surprise, she came! We watched the movie The Testaments and explained some more about the Book of Mormon. After that when we visited her she had changed so much. She said now she understood so much better that Christ could come to the Americas. She told us that Jesus doesn't need a car to get around! True. So now she keeps her Book of Mormon in a purse and even brought it with her to the chacra (the fields)! The lesson last night with her was awesome and we all had tears in our eyes when we watched Faith in Christ and talked about the Atonement. That movie is awesome. Watch it. The Atonement is awesome! Use it! To me the biggest miracle I have witnessed in the mission is how the Lord softens and changes the hearts of the people we meet. He changes those we teach and he changes me. When I came to Ollanta almost 6 months ago Luz Marina was a single mom who was really having a rough time, looking for the true church. She found it. She joined it. Life still has challenges but she just seems so happy. And that makes me happy. Yesterday she was called as second counselor in the relief society presidency. Oh, my heart is so fat. In a couple hours I have to go say goodbye. And I´m definitely going to cry like a baby.

sad pic with Juana because I'm leaving


So yeah, I´m being transferred. My area is San Jeronimo 3 and it´s in CUSCO! It is going to be an interesting transition from Ollanta (tiniest or one of the tiniest towns in the mission) and Cusco (ginormous, for me anyway). We are going to use maps and taxis and what? Also, I´m going to be senior companion. My companion (I´ll give you her name next week, my district leader can´t pronounce it, haha) just finished up her training and she´s a Gringa too! Good thing I understand Spanish now because I´m gonna have too! A little scared, but very excited. I've heard great things about my companion, the ward, and the members. The mission president attends our ward! Wow. So yeah. Next week I will be able to tell you about it!

Love you all! Have a great week! 
Happy new Years! (If you want to join Cammie in making a letter writing goal, do it! I´m going to be close to the mission office so easy to get letters! Thaaaanks! ) 

Hermana Beckstead

Enjoying a Chicken foot???

The house that should be the poster child of Helaman 5:12

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hey Gringa, My Mom´s Home

Week 28

December 23, 2013

The title of the email is what a little boy said to me this week. We always go to this place called San Isidro. Once there a group of children attacked me for pass along cards. They are the cutest. But we always ask them if their parents are home because then we could teach a lesson. And they usually aren't. So this little Peruvian was pretty excited to tell me that his mom was home! Haha. 

Speaking of the little children, and of the said attack, one of the little kids saw an image of the Book of Mormon and told me ¨my dad has that book!¨ Whaaa? So we asked what his dad´s name was and their address and went on our merry way. The next time we looked for that house and asked around and nobody knew where this Alsides guy lived. But this last pday we were going to the ruins in Ollantay and we met a man named Alsides. And he´s from San Isidro. So we´re pretty sure it´s the same guy. And he and his wife are actually married. That almost never happens here. So we are excited to be teaching them! 

Also, while I´m writing this, I think the theme will just be kids. The 13 year old in the Rodriguez Family has come to church by himself twice now. It stinks that his parents don´t come but he is quite the valiant kid.

The other day we knocked a door and a kid answered. We introduced ourselves and asked if her parents were home. We hear her talking to her dad inside, and she tells him, ¨there are gringas here that want to teach us English!¨. Haha, well, that´s not exactly what we said. But not a bad tactic. If you listen to our message about Jesus Christ, I´ll teach you some English words!

Well guys, I miss you but I´m where I´m supposed to be. Have a very MERRY CHRISTmas! I love you all tons! 

Love, Hermana Bexter (my favorite mispronunciation of my name) 

Pics: ruins, and the church Christmas activity. PANTETON (fruitcake that Peruvians are crazy about)

Baby´s First Earthquake

Week 27

December 16, 2013

 Hey guys!
This week we had an awesome lesson with the Rodriguez Family. They told us that they feel the Book of Mormon is true because it testifies of Christ. Which is true. So that was the best ever. 

We have also been working a lot with less actives because the attendance rate here is about 30%. President Harbertson added a new indicator for us called less actives rescued. We teach the member the missionary lessons again and get them an interview with the bishop. We had been working a lot with this awesome old lady named Felicitas (the one that told me if I married her son she would brush my hair and do my laundry, haha) and she just had her interview!  Re-activation is just as, or more important than the baptisms, so it has been a blast working with her.

This week I learned why Ollanta doesn't have thieves. Apparently they still respect at least one Inkan law. I guess thieves have to walk through the square naked with a sign around their neck saying something about being a rat. And don´t worry, I didn't have to find out the hard way. It sounded kind of like a joke to me at first,too, but you can believe me. 

And about 1 1/2 hours ago there was an earthquake! Okay, I guess it was an earth tremor or something. But still, it was a fun first experience, although for a second I thought our roof was going to cave in. I had just finished my language study and we were listening to the song ¨His Hands¨. It got to the part about where they crucified Jesus which is really loud and intense and there is a video with it where there was the rain and lightening and then a real earthquake! It was quite the experience. Everyone gathered outside because it was pretty strong. Luz Marina thought it was the end of the world, haha. But everything is fine.

This week President Harbertson came for a Christmas party with us and another zone. We ate pizza which means NO RICE. Definitely a highlight. And for Christmas this year: Book of Mormons (or is it books of Mormon) for everyone! 

Hope you all had a great week and love you lots!
Hermana Beckstead

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cow Hoof Jello

Week 26

December 9, 2013

Hey guys!
One thing that I learned this week that is awesome is that there is always at least one principle of the gospel that will touch someone´s heart, you just have to figure out what it is. Our investigator, Gladis, is moving to Cusco, but until she moves we have been teaching her and we got to meet her husband too. He just didn't seem too interested in our message until we talked about the plan of salvation and how death isn't the end. We were talking about how all those who didn't have the chance to hear the gospel in this life will get a chance to hear it in the next, and his eyes just lit up. He got super excited and after that the lesson was so much more exciting. We don´t always know what´s going on in people´s lives, so we have to listen to the promptings of the Spirit to know what to teach. God knows His children best, and knows what they need to hear.

This week we had two awesome members accompany us for a lesson with the Rodriguez Family. The brother taught chemistry for many years and shared his experience about how he liked to have proof for everything, except for when it comes to his faith, but that asking God and having faith has served him so much better than doubting. This was perfect to share with the dad of this family. Members can relate with our investigators so well and are the best to have in lessons. Help the missionaries please?

The interesting thing I ate this week "pata de res". It´s like leg-foot of a cow. The outside was rough and maybe still had some hairs and inside was really chewy. Afterwards we ate jello made out of the stuff. I had always heard that jello is made out of horse hooves but never really thought much of it, but I guess maybe jello is made out of hooves after all! The jello wasn't too bad, but a little more...natural tasting than the jello we eat in the states. 

Anyhoo, we are working hard.  Have an awesome week! Love you guys!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

They don´t teach you Spanish swear words in the MTC

Week 25

December 2, 2013

This week we continued to work with the Rodriguez Family. We just have a special feeling about them. They have a ways to go but are progressing and I just know that one day they will get baptized. This week in my personal study I found a story in the Book of Mormon about a group of people who had their crops and things destroyed, and believed it was a punishment from God. When I read this story I almost couldn't believe it because it was almost exactly like what the Rodriguez Family told us from last week. Well these people in the Book of Mormon pressed forward, established the church more fully, and many were baptized. We all have trials but we can’t let the hard things get in the way of doing the most important things. I got to share these scriptures with the Rodriguez Family and that was really great. They are more excited now to get married and be keeping this commandment. We are working hard with them. 
The adventure of the week was when were conversing oh so nicely with a young woman who is about 20 years old (and lives next door to her parents) when her mom walks by and starts yelling at us to leave. Apparently she used a colorful variety of swear words but I didn't really understand because no one taught me those words (so lucky me!).  But the part I did understand was when she told us the next time we come back she was going to throw boiling water on us! Yikes! So that’s always a way to liven things up and get your morning going!

Hope you guys have a great week!
Pictures: Last Pday. This is some more of Ollanta. The little stream thing is the same kind of thing my comp fell in and lines the streets here. The bridge we had to take a picture of because it is terrifying beyond all reason. When we walk it feels like it’s going to break at any second. It reminds me of those bridges on playgrounds that kind of bounce around when you run across them. There is a sign that tells cars not to pass on it and one time a car passed on it while my comp and I were on it. Thought we were going to die. And a picture of a cuy (guinea pig) yum.

Love you tons!
Hermana Beckstead